Hand-Made Concert Classical
1974 Gabe Czobel
Up for consideration is an excellent sounding
hand-made 1974 Gabe Czobel classical guitar, built with
fine woods from the workshop of Jean
Larrivee. New, Larrivee's best classical
guitars currently sell for up to $4,000, and even used Larrivee's
from the 1970s still sell for around $2,000, so here is a great
chance to buy a wonderful concert guitar by a Larrivee employee
-- made from these same fine Larrivee tonewoods -- at a tremendous
In 1974 Canadian builder Gabe Czobel was an apprentice
in the shop of Jean Larrivee, along with David Wren
and Linda Manzer, arriving just after William Laskin
left Larrivee to build guitars on his own. Gabe Czobel
ran the finishing process in the shop -- preparing the wood for
the final finish coats, spraying and sanding the lacquer coats,
attaching the neck and bridge to the body, polishing, adjusting
the nut and saddle, and all the details up to the point of shipping.
Czobel also first taught Linda Manzer guitar finishing,
and he finished practically all of the Larrivee steel-strings
and classicals at that time.
While working as a Larrivee employee, Gabe Czobel
built 5 classical guitars, including one that he kept for himself
and still currently plays-- which you can see and hear in this
His guitars were originally sold through his teacher Eli Kassner
in Toronto, and I got this guitar back in 1994 from the historical
instrument dealer EarlyMusicalInstruments.com.
According to Gabe Czobel, this guitar is #2 of the five
that he built, even though somebody else has since stamped the
label with #004. This guitar features Czobel's unique
bridge bracing system (see last photo) -- allowing the guitar
to have a thin, lightly-braced cedar top which produces excellent
bass response. It also has a long 676 mm scale, which contributes
to the excellent low-end response.
* Scale = 676 mm
* Top = Tight-Grain Cedar
* Back/Sides: East Indian Rosewood
* Nut width: 53 mm
* Finish: Lacquer
* SKB hardshell case
* Made in Canada
This guitar is a wonderful, big-sounding, concert classical,
that is well-suited for the concert stage as well as recording.
It was my main concert classical from about 1994 - 2000, and
I played about 50 gigs a year with it during that time. I had
it refretted back in about 1996, and it still plays like it has
new frets. I have since devoted myself full-time to playing the
Harp Guitar, I have not had any opportunity to play this
excellent guitar in the last several years and that is why it
needs a new home.
Here are some quick MP3s, tracked using 3 different microphone
setups, to give you a good idea of its range of sounds. This
guitar is very easy to record, and would make a fine classical
guitar for a solo classical guitar CD or for recording nylon
string tracks in other music styles:
Blue Dragonfly 1
Schoeps CMT 1
Woodpecker / Schoeps CM61 1
This guitar is in very good condition for a 35-year-old
guitar. The guitar does have some marks on it that do not detract
from the sound or the structural integrity. At one time somebody
installed a pick-up in it and there is a blocked hole for a 1/4"
jack (see photos); there is a string burn behind the second string;
there are a few marks and nicks in the lacquer on the top; there
is a spot on the top which looks like a ding that has been leveled
and repaired; some of the lacquer finnish has rubbed off the
back near the upper bout edge. I had my luthier, Dick Dubois
(who does all the repairs at Collings Guitars), go over
it, and he found it to be in excellent structural condition.
This is a great-sounding guitar, with a big, warm
sound that you would be hard-pressed to find from a new factory
guitar, even in the $2,000 range. The high-end grade cedar top
from Larrivee has beautiful, super-tight grain, which
produces a wonderful tone, with a big, rich basses, sweet, rounded
trebles and excellent projection. The character of the trebles
is sweet and sustaining, and as you can hear in MP3 clip #1,
the guitar it has excellent sympathetic resonance and sustain.
In short, it is a great concert guitar for any intermediate to
advanced-level player, and it would make a great guitar for local
classical gigs, concerts, and recording studio projects.
SHIPPING & TERMS
USA shipping is $25.00 via or FedEx Ground with optional insurance.
All sales are final, so please ask questions first. I do accept
PayPal. Thanks for looking. This auction is for 1974 Gabe
Czobel classical guitar and SKB hardshell case and
key. It comes with a new set of LaBella 2001 light gauge
strings. No other accessories are included.
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